Well, the spring semester has been finished for a little over two weeks now and grades were submitted on April 30th. Still, it's been hard to get the painting gears moving again even though they were clicking along smoothly during January-March. The Grand Duchess left a number of days ago for three weeks in Berlin to visit some archives and meet with a few people in her field, so I've been otherwise occupied looking after the Young Master.
He has been a hoot, and easy to get along with, since his mother left last Wednesday. Clearly, a real sense of humor and fun has developed in the last 18 months or so. As wonderful as that is, and much to my chagrin, I have also found that when the Young Master is able to make me laugh, it becomes very hard to exercise parental authority and restore order. He simply stops listening and continues to clown around if I giggle at his antics. So, a great deal of mental energy and effort must go into keeping a straight face in order to get the Young Master through meals, tooth brushing, dressing in the morning, and changing into his pajamas in the evening, as well as all of those charming things we must remind young children NOT to do. The spit bubbles are decidedly unfunny however, so no danger of fatherly smirks or laughter there.
Otherwise, not much going on at the moment. Most of the last several evenings since the Grand Duchess' departure, and post-bedtime for the Young Master, have involved binging on 1960s Cold War spy films online. Not just Connery-era James Bond movies -- or those campy British, Italian, and German knock-offs -- but more serious stuff like The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, The Manchurian Candidate, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and A Dandy in Aspic for example.
Very interesting how subdued, world weary, and downtrodden these films are in mood and tone. The feeling of anti-commie paranoia and angst about living in the shadow of The Bomb are also palpable, making them almost like film noirs of the 1940s and 50s in a way. It's also amazing the number of these spy films that have made it to Youtube, or are available for streaming elsewhere online. Wild stuff. But now. . . It's time to hang up my trenchcoat and Walther PPK, put away those Top Secret government documents, and get serious about painting that supply and pontoon train, which has been waiting around patiently these last couple of months.
On a related note, The Grand Duchess has picked up the Berliner Zinnfiguren mobile forge from our friend 'Tante Anita.' I've also ordered 14 Willie 30mm figures, plus a Prussian chaplain from Black Hussar Miniatures, to be sent to The Grand Duchess' temporary Berlin address to save a bit on postage/shipping costs. These figures will be used to assemble and paint various kinds of camp follower vignettes when she returns at month's end. Too bad, that's not for another couple of weeks though. You know. "Oh, hi Honey. How was your trip? Missed you. Now, what about those figures I ordered?"
On other fronts, The Grand Duchy of Stollen blog has apparently picked up another couple of followers in the last few days. Welcome to both of you, and a big thank you to all others who continue to check in here from time to time. Dead quiet in recent weeks, I know, but hopefully things will become a bit more interesting during the summer months. Be sure to check back soon.